This course introduces students to the observational approaches and instruments of modern astronomy. The first part of the course is focused on the theoretical background including Fourier transforms, radiation, the Earth’s atmosphere, and optics. The second part introduces the most important observational techniques including optical and radio telescopes, detectors, spectrometers, and adaptive optics. Students will write their own codes and use optical design software to apply their knowledge.
The lectures and exercises cover the following topics:
Properties of radiation
Geometrical and diffraction optics
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to select the most appropriate technique to observe a given astronomical phenomena.
In particular, students will be able to:
Calculate the properties of radiation received from black bodies
Explain the different influences of the Earth’s atmosphere on astronomical observations
Perform analytical and numerical Fourier transforms
Explain the working principles of optical and radio telescopes
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different detector types
Calculate the expected performance of a given instrument
Select an appropriate instrument to observe a given astronomical phenomena
In this course, students will be trained in the following behaviour-oriented skills:
Problem solving (recognizing and analyzing problems, solution-oriented thinking)
Analytical skills (analytical thinking, abstraction, evidence)
Critical thinking (asking questions, check assumptions)
See Schedules bachelor Astronomy
Mode of instruction
Written exam (100%), see Examination schedules bachelor Astronomy.
Homework assignments (up to 1 bonus grade point if all homework has been done independently and submitted on time)
Blackboard will be used to send e-mail to students. To have access to Blackboard, you need an ULCN account. More information:
Recommended books (not required):
Observational Astrophysics, by Pierre Lena, 3rd edition, 2012, published by Springer, ISBN 978-3-642-21814-9
Astrophysical Techniques, by C.R.Kitchin, 6th edition 2013, published by Institute of Physics Publishing, ISBN 9781466511156
Register via uSis. More information about signing up for classes and exams can be found here. Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to register. For a la carte and contract registration, please see the dedicated section on the Prospective students website.
Teacher: Prof.dr. Huub Röttgering
Assistants: Vanja Sarkovic, Emiel Por, Maaike van Kooten